Union Claims Don’t Add Up – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Mike Robbins

The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper (HeraldPublications.com) on Thursday, July 30, 2015 in the Letters section on pages 3 and 15. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.

Union Claims Don’t Add Up

The firefighter and police “associations” (unions) sent a campaign mailer to all city residents. One side contained propaganda urging attendance at the 7/7/15 City Council meeting, and the other side was a “Stop The Cuts” sign to display during the meeting.

The mailer claimed “millions of dollars in contract concessions over the past seven years”. The unions actually received millions of dollars in excessive and unsustainable pay raises during this period.

The already overpaid firefighter and police unions received the following pay raises during the Great Recession, in three-year contracts approved by City Council on 4/7/09 in Consent Agenda items E11, E12, and E8:

El Segundo Firefighters’ Association (ESFA) received 11.25% in raises for firefighters, paramedics, fire engineers, and fire captains.

El Segundo Police Officers’ Association (ESPOA) received 15% in raises for officers and sergeants.

El Segundo Police Managers’ Association (ESPMA) received 18% in raises for lieutenants and 23% for captains.

The following three year contracts gave all city union members pay raises every year.

All of the above raises were in addition to automatic annual 5% “Step” raises, periodic “Longevity” raises, and many types of “Special Compensation” raises hidden in their union contracts for all six years.

Firefighter and police managers received the following pay raises during the Great Recession, to avoid “salary compaction”, approved by City Council on 12/2/08 in Consent Agenda item E8: Fire Battalion Chiefs, 16.9%; Deputy Fire Chief, 14.9%; Fire Chief, 32.3%; and Police Chief, 23%.

Facts are stubborn things.

– Mike Robbins

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